The 3D Animator
Image by www.pixelsmithstudios.com
So what does a 3D Animator do ?
A 3D Animator uses a variety of software such as Maya, 3DSMax, Zbrush, Blender, Photoshop etc etc to create 3D images ( characters, objects etc ) that are projected in sequence while ( sometimes ) moved in every frame to create the illusion of movement.
So what skills do I need to become a 3D Animator ?
A 3D Animator needs to be able to work in a team and take directions. You need to have a keen eye for detail and it helps if you have some acting skills, as you sometimes need to act in front of a mirror or your team to decide how your model will react.
This can be a certain movement or a facial expression that you want to get “just right”
When “acting” in front of the team it can be a good way to explain how you want to animate your character.
Besides the ability to work with various software programs as mentioned before it also helps if you have a good sense of space and timing. As you will often be working on a tight deadline it’s good to be well organized and have a good understanding of the entire process or workflow of the team.
Be prepared for long days and late nights and every project get’s to a point where it is “crunch” time.
3D Animators usually get their direction from a Lead animator, director or animation director. It is not uncommon that you have to go back and change what you have done so far and in some cases scrap it all together. Don’t be too sensitive about that. In an animated project it is all about the project and the end result.
Do I need a degree in arts ?
Well, it certainly helps but if your skills are good and you can supply steady,strong work gained by practice and experience you have a good shot of getting into the industry.
It is always a huge plus when you have the skills to draw ( 2D ), specially with some training in anatomy so you know how a body moves etc.
Now you probably won’t just jump into a role of animator and you would
probably have to start at the bottom, but hey…. How much do you want this ?
If you are driven, dedicated and skilled you might be a 3D animator sooner than you think.
Here are a few helpful books to get you on your way
- The Animators Survival Kit
- Acting for Animators
- Maya Character Animation
- How to get a job in Computer Animation
- The Illusion of Life